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Dear Colleagues, Members & Friends,
The OCLTRG general meeting scheduled for December 5th will be postponed until after the holidays to allow the OCLTRG and its member agencies to focus their attention on the client and community needs during this holiday season. The next general meeting will be held on January 9, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at the Elks Club in Toms River. With many of our agencies barely recovering from the community Thanksgiving events, we are now thrust into preparing to meet the needs for the holiday season. Securing donations, finding host sites, advertising to the public, recruiting and organizing volunteers all while continuing to provide our normal services can be difficult. One less meeting this month is our gift to you!
We did want to take this opportunity to update everyone on a few key items. The Human Resources Committee will be completing the interview process for the Project Director position and will make an announcement in the next few weeks. The Case Management unit continues to hold weekly meetings to vet cases and has presented two additional cases to the Unmet Needs Table. Over $13,000.00 was distributed to pay for the installation of flooring, storage space, well reconnections and insulation for victims of Sandy. The Construction unit provided construction support services to an additional 15 families and continues to work on 10 cases from the prior month. Our Volunteer Coordinator is finalizing the host site grants to ensure that there is sufficient housing available to volunteers assisting with the recovery. Finally, we are diligently working on a “Welcome Home” celebration for a family we have been working with for months. We will keep you up to date with regard to these events through our website.
While we should all take a moment to celebrate our accomplishments, Thanksgiving was a subtle reminder of the pain and suffering that still exists in our community as a result of this storm. The line outside of the People’s Pantry where over 400 residents received free thanksgiving dinners or the cars pulling up to the Salvation Army where 250 families received thanksgiving baskets remind us that there is much work left to be done. We will only succeed if we continue to collaborate and work together towards the restoration of our communities and our county.
Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the recovery efforts. If anyone has an announcement they would like to send out to the group, please forward it to Lisa Petrozzello at the OCLTRG and she will post it on our website. Have a wonderful Holiday Season! We look forward to working with you in the New Year!
Maria La Face
Chair of the OCLTRG
ENTER OUR FACEBOOK CHALLENGE!!
Between November 8, 2013 and November 30, 2013 enter our Facebook challenge for your chance at winning a $250 Home Depot gift card.
Simply LIKE our Facebook page and post a comment that says “I like OCLTRG and love the Jersey Shore because___________________ (fill in the blank) and then share it on your Facebook page.
The first week of December we will randomly select one name as the winner of the $250 Home Depot gift card.
Just remember you must Like, Post a Comment and Share for it to count!
Maria LaFace of Toms River Takes the Helm as Chair
The Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group has elected Maria LaFace, Esq., as its Chair for 2013-2014. Ms. LaFace currently serves as the Assistant Executive Director of Ocean Monmouth Legal Services, Inc. based in Toms River and is uniquely qualified to lead the OCLTRG. Ms. LaFace is a graduate of Rutgers University and received her Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate University Law School.
Since the Founding of the OCLTRG in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Ms. LaFace has served as a member of its Steering Committee and as the Chair of the Case Management Subcommittee. She has worked tirelessly to assist residents recovering from the storm – including many frail and vulnerable seniors and adults with disabilities. Her work on their behalf has required partnering with non-profits, government agencies and other social service providers in an effort to assist these individuals in their recovery.
“I have learned that collaboration is one of the most important keys to community recovery and I am eager to get to work so that we can better help and serve the thousands of Ocean County families still waiting to rebuild and return to their homes”. “I encourage all households that are still in need of help to reach out to the OCLTRG by calling 732-569-348, the OCLTRG has trained disaster case managers, construction and volunteer labor ready to help.”
Joining Ms. Laface on the Executive Committee are Eileen Coyne of Caregivers of New Jersey, who was re-elected as Vice-Chair, Kathy Jaworski, Community Volunteer and re-elected Secretary and John Hammer, CPA, who is serving his first term as Treasurer.
The Christie Administration announced that state officials will host a Sandy Recovery Mobile Cabinet Thursday, October 17th in Ocean County to offer assistance to Sandy-affected residents and businesses as they continue their recovery and rebuilding efforts. State representatives from the Governor’s Office of Constituent Relations; the Department of Community Affairs (DCA); the Economic Development Authority (EDA); the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI); the Department of Treasury; the Business Action Center (BAC) at the Department of State; the Department of Human Services (DHS); and the Department of Children and Families (DCF); the Division of Consumer Affairs; as well as federal officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), will be on hand in Surf City to meet with affected residents and answer questions on a variety of topics including homeowner and rental program status updates and business grant and loan status updates. Homeowners and business owners interested in attending can expedite the process by bringing relevant documentation related to the issue they are facing.
October 17, 2013 from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Surf City Fire House, 713 North Long Beach Blvd., Surf City, NJ
Governor Christie announced the launch of a $100 million home elevation program in the nine counties hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. Under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Elevation Program, eligible applicants can receive reimbursement of up to $30,000 for elevations on existing primary, single family homes.
Beginning Monday, July 22nd eligible homeowners can apply for elevation grant assistance at www.renewjerseystronger.org or by calling 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946). People can also apply in person at one of the Housing Recovery centers open in each of the nine most impacted counties.
Trenton, NJ – As part of his ongoing commitment to rebuild homes damaged by Sandy, Governor Chris Christie today signed Executive Order No. 137, temporarily allowing minors to volunteer for nonprofit organizations engaged in housing construction. Existing state law prohibits minors from performing construction work, allowing only for minors between the ages of 14 and 17 to volunteer in the construction of affordable housing. The Executive Order encourages volunteers to help in the Sandy rebuilding effort by permitting minors between the ages of 14 and 17 to volunteer for non-profit organizations engaged in housing construction.
The Executive Order maintains all current labor safeguards that protect minors involved in construction, such as barring them from using heavy equipment and power tools, and will only be in effect until the end of 2013.
“In the aftermath of Sandy, New Jerseyans of all ages came together to rebuild our state, including many minors working with charitable organizations like Habitat for Humanity,” said Governor Christie. “This Executive Order allows minors to safely give back to their state and help their fellow citizens during their time of need.”
In signing the Executive Order, Governor Christie directed the Commissioner of Labor to take all appropriate steps to effectuate the Order.
The Nordson Corporation Foundation currently is offering a grant opportunity known as their “Big Build” project. They are looking for ways to improve our community by promoting creativity and learning. In the past the “Big Build” has built basketball courts, picnic areas, playgrounds and riding corrals.
If you have a facility that needs to be built or re-built due to damage from Superstorm Sandy, please submit the application at your earliest convenience. Big Build Application 2013
The state has just released two very helpful FAQ documents pertaining to the two main CDBG homeowner programs. The first explains the $150,000 max grant RREM program, and the second explains the $10,000 resettlement grant. Please find the links below.